We seek an Genomic breeder for barley and wheat at the Agricultural University of Iceland

Genomic breeder for barley and wheat

Want to adapt grains to the extreme environment of Iceland?


The Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at the Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) seeks a genomic breeder. The open position is for a specialist in genomic breeding in a two-step genomic selection program. The breeding program is located at the AUI campus at Hvanneyri, Iceland while the position has a remote work option. The genomic breeder has accountability for developing, maintaining, and improving systems for genetic evaluations in the program. The specialist will work closely with collaborators abroad as well as the local field phenotyping team. The program is hosted by the AUI and the position offers collaborations in research projects related to the breeding program.


Vala plant breeding program

The Icelandic government is financing a breeding program in barley and wheat called Vala. The program is in accordance with an action plan to increase grain cultivation in Iceland. The goal is to increase Iceland s self-sufficiency and food security. The program is a two-step breeding program where the crossing and genotyping of the Icelandic plant population is carried out abroad by collaborators. Results of the genotyping are combined with domestic phenotyping data and used to predict breeding values for desired traits relevant for Icelandic farmers. Phenotyping data is collected by the field team within the breeding program.



  • Maintenance and improvement of the current internal genomic evaluations

  • Management, planning, and implementation of regular routine evaluations runs

  • Continuous improvement and optimization of the models and identification of additional data that should be collected to increase the accuracy of the predictions

  • Technical development related to genetics and genomics for grain improvement and be prepared to suggest and implement new approaches as needed

  • Development, maintenance and delivery of relevant genomic reports to the team and collaborators

  • Drive the building and launching of new winter wheat breeding program for Iceland

  • Perform other projects and responsibilities as assigned by the program leadership


  • PhD in plant breeding, quantitative genetics, or a related field, experience in genetic evaluation preferred

  • Strong statistical and computational skills, with understanding of statistical models applied to genomic evaluation

  • Strong programming skills in e.g. R, Python, Fortran, bash and/or other relevant languages

  • Ability to effectively organize and manage workload in order to meet project goals and deadlines

  • Excellent command of English

  • Excellent collaboration and communication skills and ability to work independently

  • Positive attitude to challenges and ability to show initiative.


Further informtion

About the Agricultural University of Iceland

The Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) is an educational and research institution in the fields of agriculture, land resources, environmental sciences, urban and regional planning, and landscape architecture. AUI plays a key role in developing societal issues in the fields. AUI awards BSc, MSc and PhD degrees and provides vocational training in agriculture.

About the faculty

The position is within in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. The faculty's primary responsibility is to share and preserve knowledge while improving understanding in the field of land use and livestock management. Moreover, it seeks to foster innovation through research, dissemination, and education. The covered topics are diverse and span interdisciplinary aspects, encompassing biological, technical, economic, and social factors associated with agricultural production and its broader impact on the environment and society.

This is a full-time position

Application deadline is 08.03.2024


For more information contact

Hrannar Smári Hilmarsson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sími: 4335000

Guðmunda Smáradóttir, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sími: 4335000


Knowledge in the field of sustainable use of resources, environment, planning and food production.


Hvanneyri - 311 Borgarbyggð
Phone 433-5000
Kt. 411204-3590
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